An exclusive message from Prime Minister David Cameron was aired at a unique event to launch Hospice Care Week at Helen & Douglas House.
For the first time in their history, four Oxfordshire hospices joined together to highlight the urgent and growing need for their services.
In the videotape, Mr Cameron expressed his personal gratitude for the help he and his wife Samantha received during their time at Helen House with their disabled son, Ivan, who died aged six in 2009.
Every year Sobell House, Katharine House, Helen & Douglas House and Sue Ryder Nettlebed provide vital care for more than 10,000 children and adults living in Oxfordshire with terminal illnesses.
Each hospice relies significantly on charitable support from the community to continue delivering the world-class palliative care needed in the region.
This extends beyond the home-from-home setting to offer community home nursing, bereavement and sibling support as long as it’s needed, consultant advice and a wide range of complementary and holistic therapies.
The launch was opened by Sue Ryder’s head of clinical services, Karen Guy, Sobell House clinical lead Dr Mary Miller, Helen & Douglas House CEO Clare Periton and Katharine House’s director of nursing Bernadette Ross.
Ms Ross quoted the founder of the modern hospice movement, Dame Cicely Saunders, who said: “You matter because you are you and you matter until the end of your life.
“We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully but also to live until you die.”
> The theme for Hospice Care Week this year is Connecting Care.